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'Absolute legend' Anna Pavlova retired

ANNA PAVLOVA, winner of ten of her 23 races and more than £380,000 in prize-money, has been retired and may come under the hammer at Newmarket in December.

The five-year-old, described by her trainer Richard Fahey as "an absolute legend", scored over 6f as a two-year-old, won a heritage handicap at three over 1m, bagged two Group 2 events - the Prix de Royallieu and Lancashire Oaks - around 1m4f and even ran Septimus to two lengths in the 2m Lonsdale Cup at York in 2006. She finished fifth of six on her final start, at Deauville in the Group 2 Prix de Pomone Haras d'Etreham last month.

"The plan was always for her to retire at the end of this season and it's time for her to finish," said Fahey.

"What a star she's been. She's taken us to all the best places, given us heaps of great days and her career record underlines her remarkable consistency and incredible versatility."

Fahey, who has trained her throughout her career, added: "Everyone knows she loved it soft and, given those conditions, she was a very high-class racemare. She's been an absolute legend, a pleasure to have around the place and we're all going to miss her. My job now is to try and find another oneas good as her."

Owner-breeder Ray Cowie paid tribute to Fahey's handling of Anna Pavlova before reflecting on her whirlwind career.

"Richard is a great trainer and he's done a remarkable job with her. For me, she's been a dream come true and has exceeded all expectations. Her wonderful versatility has been amazing; she's a real old-fashioned type of horse, able to perform from six furlongs to two miles and, although it was a shame she never managed to win a Group 1, at least she was placed at thattop level.                     

"There has been so many great days, Longchamp lastautumn when she won a Group 2 under Frankie Dettori, the Galtres Stakes at York, her five lengths win in a Listed race at Ascot and, of course, this season's Lancashire Oaks. It's hard to say which was her best-ever performance. It might have been in defeat, when she ran Septimus so close at York."

Cowie, who has a small stud in Cheshire, is undecided about the future of Anna Pavlova. "We'll get her back shortly, but I have 20 horses in all, 16 here, including four mares in foal - too many - so although I'd love to breed from her, I may also be tempted to sell her. I have given her a provisional entry in the Tattersalls December Sales at Newmarket and have until the middle of next month to confirm it. I shall have someserious thinking to do in the meantime."

Anna Pavlova, who won four Listed races alongside her two Group 2 victories, was ridden to no fewer than eight wins by Paul Hanagan, who partnered her in 16 races.

"I owe her so much," said the jockey.

"She's been amazing and it's been a great thrill to be associated with her."


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